Saturday, August 29, 2015


What is PTSD?

PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It's not always about war and the trauma that puts on our service men and women, which is what it is most commonly known for.  And while I am in no way saying their struggle is not important and shouldn't be getting the awareness that it does (because it deserves every bit of awareness and more) but there is more than one type of PTSD.

Sometimes PTSD reflects itself in more subtle ways.  The cacophony of beeps, cries and burps.  The sites of tubes down noses, wires, thermometers.  The measuring of bottles, diapers, weight.  The sights, the sounds, the smells.  Oh so familiar, in some ways comforting and in other ways gut wrenching.

PTSD is watching your youngest daughter walk the same path as your oldest, albeit to a much smaller degree.

PTSD is walking down those same, yet very different halls.  Knowing what you will find, you've been there before.  Hiding your tears and holding your head high.  And yet afraid of being sucked in again.

Sucked in by a need to know quantity in such a way that it consumes you.  Did she eat enough?  Is she warm enough?  Is she gaining weight? 

Eat, eat, eat.  Gain, gain, gain.

Can we not just go home?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hanging by a Thread

Yesterday, I posted an article on my Facebook page about kindergarten applications requiring certain information upon registering their child for school.  One of which was a question about whether the child was vaginal or a c-section birth.  But others pertained to whether or not the child was premature, if the pregnancy was complicated (HA!  They need more than three lines of space for me), how premature, if the baby came home with you, etc.

This post resulted in a lot of very HEALTHY conversations regarding this and my desire to not put in any of my daughters public records the circumstances of her birth.  (And please know, that those of you who will read this and participated in that conversation, you in NO WAY offended, hurt, disrespected me, etc and I appreciated each and every ones participation as it did give alternate points of view.)

But I realized this morning why it triggered such a negative response in me.  Because of the filter I viewed it through.

Which filter was that?  The one of mommy guilt.  The one that by having to mark that box yes screams to the world the scarlet letter on MY back that I failed her.  I failed her in so many ways. That there are problems that may still arise from my inability to keep her in.

And I just find myself asking WHEN.  When will we be past all of these potential pitfalls that may come her way?  When will I be able to stop worrying that I damaged her?  When can I lay down this scarlet letter?

Granted, I will never stop sharing her story as she is truly a miracle to me.  Such a happy, healthy, vibrant, intelligent miracle.  Who has shown me more strength in one tiny body than I thought was possible.  I am so proud of her and how well she has done.

But when can I stop looking ahead to try to stay on top of any potential problems as a result of circumstances she certainly didn't cause?

When can I just enjoy her for her and the miracle that she is?

When can I stop feeling like I need to defend myself from having to explain to the world why my body decided to prematurely eject the child from my womb despite every effort to keep her in?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The power in a day

Ask any preemie mom and they will tell you that just one day can make a huge difference.  The difference between life or death.  The difference between the medical community fighting for your child or not.  The difference in the length of a NICU stay.  The difference in the long term outcome of that child.

We wear those days on our shirts like a badge of honor.  Even subsequent pregnancies is not just a birth day - but a gestational age. 

Elisa was 29 weeks 1 day when she was born.  Aidan was 37 weeks.

That 1 day is important.  Because it was one day longer I held on and kept her in.  It's almost for me a sign of just how much more I tried to kick prematurity (and pre term labors) butt.

I shot this yesterday at 29+1.  To celebrate this victory.  I don't need artists renditions of what this one looks like at this point in her development.

I watched it in person.

But every day now is a victory.  A victory against prematurity.  A victory that I've made it this far.  I can't say it's the longest I've ever been pregnant.  But it's the longest I've gone without symptoms of pre-term labor (we won't count Wednesday's episode of contractions every 2-3 min since I was already in the hospital for a headache ;) - but even then, at 28+5, that was the longest I'd made it in either before having to go to L&D).

I watched her grow from this point on until now.  Showing prematurity that it's just a word, not a definition.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Curse you, triggers.

That come out of left field.  With no known rational trigger.

I'm 27 weeks and 2 days with this baby girl.  It's not even a big "milestone" day.  By this point with Elisa, I was "stable" and just cruising towards my first goal of 28 weeks.  We were settled into what was going to be our "permanent" home until I delivered at 37 weeks, and had settled into our pattern of regular contraction monitoring and NSTs.

So I have no idea why, in the first few songs of church this morning, I was suddenly confronted with image after image of that room.  And confronted so strongly with an unrelenting slideshow that so overtook my eyes I could no longer see the room around me.

This is my Father's world
Oh let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the ruler yet
This is my Father's world
Why should my heart be sad
Read more: Gungor - My Father's World Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

It wasn't until these words cut through the haze of images that I was able to take a deep breath and begin to return myself to the reality of where I am NOW, not where I once was.

Sometimes, I think of how much of a miracle it is that I am actually here.  After losing two pregnancies before finally getting pregnant with Elisa, and then her sudden, dramatic (yes, and traumatic) entrance into this world, I find it a miracle that I ever found it in me to try again.  Once.  

Much less twice.

Photo courtesy of Wolfinger Photography

And yet, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  These two, soon to be three, are my world. And though they take my sanity, my energy, my lifeblood, they are worth every second.

I don't know that I will ever truly be able to put into words the mixture of emotions I go through with every pregnancy.   Especially in those moments when I'm there...but not really there and in those moments in the past.  It seems like every moment in my pregnancy is a reminder of something.  And as much as I try to live in today and for today, those moments seem to forever define my pregnancies.

And so I take each day as it comes.  And be thankful for each and every day that passes by and she's still in there.  The misery, the pain, the exhaustion.  Every moment will be worth it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Maybe it's a part of healing.  Maybe it's hormones.  Who the heck knows.  But this.  This song spoke to me.

There's a light I still see it
There's a hand still holding me
Even when I don't believe it
I might be down but I'm not dead
There's better days still up ahead

Even after all I've seen.  There is hope in front of me.

Hope.  The one thing I clung to all these years.  The one thing that has never gone away.

There's a hand still holding me.  Even when I don't believe it.

Life has knocked me down many times in my 34 years.  But it hasn't killed me yet.  And as long as that is the case, I will keep getting up.  And I will keep moving forward.

There's a hope in front of me.  There's a light and I still see it.  Even after all I've seen, there is still hope in front of me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


I put this video together over a year now and was reminded of it as I drove to my 25 week appointment and the song I used came on the radio.

This song, from the moment I heard it, was Elisa's anthem.  And no matter where I stand with my faith in God, still is my anthem.  God moved mountains with her.  God showed me that impossible IS just a word, through her.

I don't know why I've never shared it before.  I put it together for the preemie support group Elisa's NICU invited me to talk in when we went back.  It just seemed fitting that I share it now.  As Elisa starts her first days of pre-kindergarten.  And I am just a week away from the moment my life changed forever - 26 weeks, 3 days will always be a milestone in my pregnancies.


Song credits: Kutlass - That's What Faith Can Do
Poem: author is unknown - I found it in one of my preemie groups.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


****Seriously, what is up with these hormones.  3 posts in a week?  So much of my creative juices have been wrapped up in life, I guess they are starting to ooze out again.****

"Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete 
Could we just be broken together?
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I'll bring mine 
Could healing still be spoken and save us 
The only way we will last forever is broken together." - Casting Crowns

Yesterday, I heard this song on the radio.  Now, I've heard it before, but never had I had the opportunity to really *listen* to it.  Yesterday was a rare occurrence where I was in the car completely alone.  Seriously, never happens.

Anyway, I was listening to the lyrics and was struck.  Not about how the song was actually talking about marriage.  Which I did realize that.  But it struck me more about my relationship with God right now.

And it got me asking, why do we spend so much time pretending we are NOT broken.  Broken in all of our relationships in some way.  No one and no relationship is perfect.

Not even those with a strong faith and relationship with God.

We are ALL broken together.

So I'll start.  How am I broken?  Well, the current thought that prompted me to look into this song and this blog was my current "broken" relationship with God.  Not necessarily broken in the terms of turned around and walked away as I am still trying to walk that path and do the work necessary to repair it.  As I know the brokenness is on my end, not His.  But broken in the sense of I am no longer able to trust God to have everything under control.

There.  I said it.

Ever since I started on this journey of prematurity, 5.5 years ago.  Truthfully, a lot of good came out of that experience and I recognize that.  However, I will have to admit that I am not OK with that.  I don't know that I will ever be OK with that.  The ONLY ending to this current pregnancy that I will be OK with is one that ends full term and with a healthy baby and mom.  I can't be OK with God's "under control."

Do good things come out of these things?  Certainly.  Can God speak and be heard through these things?  Absolutely.

But is sitting by your child's bedside and watching them struggle and suffer a justifiable means to those ends?   Watching a loved one with tubes and wires coming from all sorts of unmentionable areas, struggling for breath or to beat an illness?  Burying your child before they even had a chance to live?  Really, burying your child at all.  Are any of these a justifiable means to an end?

No.  I honestly can not say I will ever say that it is.

Not that I expect life to always be roses and rainbows.  Not that I don't recognize that He walks through it with me and puts the people in my life to help me through the valley's.  I do.  I just can't say that I can walk through life, currently, believing that I can trust Him to bring about MY ok.

Maybe it's an unrealistic expectation of mine.  I don't know.  But that's my broken.  And maybe that's ok.  And maybe we are just meant to be "broken together."

What's yours?